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eksctl - The official CLI for Amazon EKS ! eksctl

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eksctl is a simple CLI tool for creating clusters on EKS - Amazon's new managed Kubernetes service for EC2. It is written in Go, and uses CloudFormation.

You can create a cluster in minutes with just one command – eksctl create cluster!

Gophers: E, K, S, C, T, & L

Need help? Join Eksctl Slack.


eksctl is available to install from official releases as described below. We recommend that you install eksctl from only the official GitHub releases. You may opt to use a third-party installer, but please be advised that AWS does not maintain nor support these methods of installation. Use them at your own discretion.


You will need to have AWS API credentials configured. What works for AWS CLI or any other tools (kops, Terraform, etc.) should be sufficient. You can use ~/.aws/credentials file or environment variables. For more information read AWS documentation.

You will also need AWS IAM Authenticator for Kubernetes command (either aws-iam-authenticator or aws eks get-token (available in version 1.16.156 or greater of AWS CLI) in your PATH.

The IAM account used for EKS cluster creation should have these minimal access levels.

AWS Service Access Level
CloudFormation Full Access
EC2 Full: Tagging Limited: List, Read, Write
EC2 Auto Scaling Limited: List, Write
EKS Full Access
IAM Limited: List, Read, Write, Permissions Management
Systems Manager Limited: List, Read

The inline policy json is listed in Minimal IAM Policies.

For Unix

To download the latest release, run:

# for ARM systems, set ARCH to: `arm64`, `armv6` or `armv7`
PLATFORM=$(uname -s)_$ARCH

curl -sLO "$PLATFORM.tar.gz"

# (Optional) Verify checksum
curl -sL "" | grep $PLATFORM | sha256sum --check

tar -xzf eksctl_$PLATFORM.tar.gz -C /tmp && rm eksctl_$PLATFORM.tar.gz

sudo mv /tmp/eksctl /usr/local/bin

For Windows

Direct download (latest release): AMD64/x86_64 - ARMv6 - ARMv7 - ARM64

Make sure to unzip the archive to a folder in the PATH variable.

Optionally, verify the checksum:

  1. Download the checksum file: latest
  2. Use Command Prompt to manually compare CertUtil's output to the checksum file downloaded.
REM Replace amd64 with armv6, armv7 or arm64
CertUtil -hashfile SHA256
  1. Using PowerShell to automate the verification using the -eq operator to get a True or False result:
# Replace amd64 with armv6, armv7 or arm64
 (Get-FileHash -Algorithm SHA256 .\ -eq ((Get-Content .\eksctl_checksums.txt) -match '' -split ' ')[0]

Using Git Bash

# for ARM systems, set ARCH to: `arm64`, `armv6` or `armv7`

curl -sLO "$"

# (Optional) Verify checksum
curl -sL "" | grep $PLATFORM | sha256sum --check

unzip eksctl_$ -d $HOME/bin

rm eksctl_$

The eksctl executable is placed in $HOME/bin, which is in $PATH from Git Bash.


For every release and RC a container image is pushed to ECR repository Learn more about the usage on ECR Public Gallery - eksctl. For example,

docker run --rm -it version

Third-Party Installers (Not Recommended)

For MacOS


brew tap weaveworks/tap
brew install weaveworks/tap/eksctl


port install eksctl

For Windows


choco install eksctl


scoop install eksctl

Basic usage

To create a basic cluster, run:

eksctl create cluster

A cluster will be created with default parameters

  • exciting auto-generated name, e.g. "fabulous-mushroom-1527688624"
  • 2x m5.large nodes (this instance type suits most common use-cases, and is good value for money)
  • use official AWS EKS AMI
  • us-west-2 region
  • dedicated VPC (check your quotas)

Once you have created a cluster, you will find that cluster credentials were added in ~/.kube/config. If you have kubectl as well as aws-iam-authenticator commands in your PATH, you should be able to use kubectl. You will need to make sure to use the same AWS API credentials for this also. Check EKS docs for instructions.

Example output:

 $ eksctl create cluster
[ℹ]  eksctl version 0.143.0
[ℹ]  using region eu-west-2
[ℹ]  setting availability zones to [eu-west-2a eu-west-2c eu-west-2b]
[ℹ]  subnets for eu-west-2a - public: private:
[ℹ]  subnets for eu-west-2c - public: private:
[ℹ]  subnets for eu-west-2b - public: private:
[ℹ]  nodegroup "ng-ac4c787c" will use "" [AmazonLinux2/1.25]
[ℹ]  using Kubernetes version 1.25
[ℹ]  creating EKS cluster "attractive-sculpture-1685534556" in "eu-west-2" region with managed nodes
[ℹ]  will create 2 separate CloudFormation stacks for cluster itself and the initial managed nodegroup
[ℹ]  if you encounter any issues, check CloudFormation console or try 'eksctl utils describe-stacks --region=eu-west-2 --cluster=attractive-sculpture-1685534556'
[ℹ]  Kubernetes API endpoint access will use default of {publicAccess=true, privateAccess=false} for cluster "attractive-sculpture-1685534556" in "eu-west-2"
[ℹ]  CloudWatch logging will not be enabled for cluster "attractive-sculpture-1685534556" in "eu-west-2"
[ℹ]  you can enable it with 'eksctl utils update-cluster-logging --enable-types={SPECIFY-YOUR-LOG-TYPES-HERE (e.g. all)} --region=eu-west-2 --cluster=attractive-sculpture-1685534556'
2 sequential tasks: { create cluster control plane "attractive-sculpture-1685534556", 
    2 sequential sub-tasks: { 
        wait for control plane to become ready,
        create managed nodegroup "ng-ac4c787c",
[ℹ]  building cluster stack "eksctl-attractive-sculpture-1685534556-cluster"
[ℹ]  deploying stack "eksctl-attractive-sculpture-1685534556-cluster"
[ℹ]  waiting for CloudFormation stack "eksctl-attractive-sculpture-1685534556-cluster"
[ℹ]  building managed nodegroup stack "eksctl-attractive-sculpture-1685534556-nodegroup-ng-ac4c787c"
[ℹ]  deploying stack "eksctl-attractive-sculpture-1685534556-nodegroup-ng-ac4c787c"
[ℹ]  waiting for CloudFormation stack "eksctl-attractive-sculpture-1685534556-nodegroup-ng-ac4c787c"
[ℹ]  waiting for the control plane to become ready
[✔]  all EKS cluster resources for "attractive-sculpture-1685534556" have been created
[ℹ]  nodegroup "ng-ac4c787c" has 2 node(s)
[ℹ]  node "" is ready
[ℹ]  node "" is ready
[ℹ]  waiting for at least 2 node(s) to become ready in "ng-ac4c787c"
[ℹ]  nodegroup "ng-ac4c787c" has 2 node(s)
[ℹ]  node "" is ready
[ℹ]  node "" is ready
[ℹ]  kubectl command should work with ".../.kube/config", try 'kubectl get nodes'
[✔]  EKS cluster "attractive-sculpture-1685534556" in "eu-west-2" region is ready

Install eksctl by following the installation instructions.

To discover the full range of capabilities that eksctl offers, visit

A great starting point is the Getting Started guide.

You can find a comprehensive list of features here.


Code contributions are very welcome. If you are interested in helping make eksctl great then see our contributing guide.

We follow the CNCF Code of Conduct.


Minor releases of eksctl should be expected every two weeks and patch releases will be made available as needed.

One or more release candidate(s) (RC) builds will be made available prior to each minor release. RC builds are intended only for testing purposes.

If you discover a potential security issue in eksctl project, please follow AWS Vulnerability Reporting process.

Do not open security related issues in the open source project.

Get in touch

Create an issue, or login to Eksctl Community Slack (#eksctl) (signup).

Logo Credits

Original Gophers drawn by Ashley McNamara, unique E, K, S, C, T & L Gopher identities had been produced with